The church of Christ of your community accepts the Bible as the complete, sufficient, and final will of God to man—His last revelation to man until Jesus returns to wind everything up in the final judgment (Matt. 16:27). We freely concede that the Bible records instances of men, in both Old and New Testament periods, receiving special revelations, visions, dreams, etc., of a miraculous nature—in which revelations God communicated certain of His desires to particular men. But we also urge that the same sacred volume teaches that no such revelations would be received by any man after “that which is perfect” should come. The full scriptures—both Old and New Testaments—being the perfect will of God (2 Tim. 3:16, 17), “that which was in part” — partial and special revelations at irregular intervals to different individuals necessarily was “done away” (1 Cor. 13:9, 10).
No person informed on the subject will deny that the average Protestant denomination accepts the Bible as God’s Word only in part, rejecting many portions of the Book, many of such bodies and more of their preachers even insisting that a man can be saved independently of the Bible. Further, some religious bodies justify their very existence on the contention that their founders received one or more revelations from Jehovah, empowering said founders to speak with authority for God and to start “the true church.” Some such founders have written books, claiming that these books are as binding as the Bible, and more so. Their entire defense for such procedure rests merely upon the claim that they received these special revelations from Jehovah.
Single out any one of these men or women who claim to have received special messages from Jehovah after the Bible was written, and ask just one question: “Just why did Jehovah give you this special, personal revelation?” We may boldly say that upon the answer to this question hinges either the genuineness or fraud of such claims. The next time that you are interviewed by some disciple of Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy, Joseph Smith, Mrs. Ellen White, Pastor Russell, Judge Rutherford, or the Catholic Pope, just press the question of the preceding sentence, and you will touch the most vulnerable spot of such false doctrines. If any of these, or others, have received special revelations from Jehovah, there must be some good reasons why the Lord granted them such revelations. And it is herein guaranteed that, regardless of the reason the disciples of these religions will give you, the Bible already has on record the scriptures saying that reasons for such special revelations are invalid, untrue, and, therefore, deceiving. Hence, let us now consider the principal answers to the question: “Just WHY would or did Jehovah give special revelations to anyone after the Bible was written?”
First, it may be claimed that Jehovah gave such special revelations in order to change what had already been written in the Bible. But the Bible itself teaches that to be untrue. We are told not to go “beyond the things which are written” (1 Cor. 4:6) Again, “whosoever goeth onward and abideth not in the teaching of Christ, hath not God” (2 Jno. 9). Too, the Holy Spirit had Paul to say, in Gal. 1:8, 9: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema. As we have said before, so say I now again, if any man preacheth unto you any gospel other than that which ye received, let him be anathema.” From these verses we learn that the man who teaches in religion something different from that which has been revealed does not have God and rests under the curse of the Holy Spirit of God. Then, in Gal. 1:6, 7, the apostle makes it even more serious by teaching the sinfulness of the man who would “pervert the gospel of Christ.” Now, God has already told us in His Bible that there are to be no more gospels and no more changes in that gospel, or doctrine. If, then, after He had those statements put on record He has revealed something to certain men or women in order to change what has been written, then God has contradicted Himself, pronouncing a woe in the New Testament on that man or angel who teaches something different from what has been written, but later telling someone to do that very thing. But, in 1 Cor. 14:33, God had Paul to tell us that “God is not a God of confusion.” So, God does not contradict Himself. Good people who are inclined to put much faith in the teachings of the founders of Christian Science, Adventism, Mormonism, Russellism, Rutherfordism, Catholicism, etc., ought then to get this point: if God said 1900 years ago that there would be no further changes in what He had taught and even pronounced woes upon those who claimed the right to change what had been written, we ought to know that religious teacher who claims to have a special revelation from Jehovah is contradicting what God has said, and is, therefore a fraud to be avoided (Rom. 16:17; 2 Pet. 2:2). So, when they claim that Jehovah gave special revelations to people after the Bible was written in order to change what had been written, we know that such cannot be the reason.
Second, some may say that Jehovah gave some religious leader a special revelation in order to tell us more truth, to reveal some truth not revealed in the Bible. But Christ taught the apostles that He would send the Holy Spirit to “guide you into all the truth” (Jno. 16:13). After Christ ascended back to the Father He sent the Holy Spirit on that Pentecost day of Acts 2 upon the apostles. From then on the Bible teaches that they taught under the influence of that Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:12, 13). If Christ says that they were guided into all truth, after they preached the truth of God and Christ, and recorded it in the Bible, there could be no additional truth for any of these later religious leaders to have received in special revelations If the Holy Spirit did NOT guide the apostles into all truth, then Christ promised them something that was not true. But Christ doesn’t lie. If the Holy Spirit DID guide them into all truth, what extra truth could there be for Jehovah to reveal to anyone after it was recorded in the New Testament? The apostles “preached the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20: 27), the “one faith” (Eph. 4:5), “the faith once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). That “once” has the meaning of “once for all.” If Jehovah granted special revelations after the scriptures of God were closed, it could not have been to enable these men or women to teach any unrevealed counsel of God or any of the faith not revealed, for His Book says that all of that had been preached and delivered in full!
Third, advocates of some religions may insist that their religious leader or founder received a special revelation to enable that one to correctly interpret the scriptures—to use a key to understand that no one else possessed. If so, that would mean that God (1) guided the apostles into all truth, that (2) He even supplied the words whereby they taught and wrote (1 Cor. 2:12,13), but (3) He either could not or would not guide the apostles into thoughts and words to unlock the scriptures for popular understanding—that was reserved for someone else to discover! To “add insult to injury,” such religious founders will write books and affirm that only by reading their book or books can you understand the scriptures! To state the case precisely as they claim it is enough to explode the theory and expose the fallacy.
If God could not guide the writers of the New Testament into thoughts and words to unlock the scriptures for popular understanding, such is a commentary on His weakness! If He could not make the New Testament so people could understand it, where did He get the power to make some later book plain enough so people could use it as a means of understanding the Bible?
But, if it is argued that He simply would not make the Bible plain enough for people to understand, such argument contradicts every text in the Bible setting the scriptures forth as our all-sufficient rule of faith and practice. For example, in 2 Tim. 3:16-17, we have the authority of the Holy Spirit that the scriptures so equip us that by them we are “throughly furnished unto all good works.” That is the King James Version rendering. The “throughly” means “thoroughly.” That is why the Revised rendering is “completely.” All three words have the same meaning. To be throughly furnished is to be thoroughly or completely furnished.
So God tells us that His Bible thoroughly furnishes us.
But Mrs. Eddy, of the Christian Science persuasion, and Joseph Smith, Jr. of the Mormon persuasion, and others, claim later and special revelations in order to make it possible for us to understand the scriptures. They claim that we are NOT furnished thoroughly by the scriptures and that we cannot even understand the scriptures without the revelation God gave THEM for that purpose.
Who is right? In 2 Tim. 3:16-17, we see that, hundreds of years before Mrs. Eddy or Joseph Smith, Jr., God said that we ARE furnished THOROUGHLY by the scriptures.
Christian Scientists, or apologists for other “revelators,” cannot dismiss this with their stock-in-trade evasion: “You just don’t understand.” We just do understand that here is a clear-cut contradiction. God says that the scriptures furnish us thoroughly. Mrs. Eddy says that in addition to the scriptures you have to be furnished with her revelation that unlocks the door to understanding. But since our Lord has already said that the scriptures furnish us throughly, thoroughly, or completely unto every good work, the one who says that we have to have the “revelation,” or “key,” of someone else, simply and flatly contradicts the word of God. In view of this scripture it is the rankest fraud to claim the necessity of another revelation to unlock these scriptures when God says that by them we are furnished completely. Why will good and intelligent people be deceived by such blasphemy and claim that to be a mark of intelligence and high learning?
Now, the scriptures say in the references herein studied that, if God gave any man a special revelation after the Bible was written, it was (1) not to change what has been written, (2) neither to reveal more truth, (3) nor to interpret what was already revealed and interpreted. Then, why could such special revelations have been given? If such were actually given, they would have been given for one of the above reasons—no other reasons being possible and these being the usual ones advanced. But since the Bible says that such special revelations were not given for any such reasons, they were necessarily not given. Such claims are, therefore fraudulent. Hence, thousands of good people are being deceived by Satan who “fashions himself into an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:l4).
But most claimants of special revelations are proved fraudulent upon another count. Sooner or later most of them begin to make predictions as to the time of the end of the world. But they all miss their guesses. Now, mark this: they claim to be reliable interpreters of the scriptures, but they guess wrong on the time of the end of the world. Question: how could one be a reliable interpreter, an infallible revealer, of the Bible, but be fallible in figuring the end of the world? Friend, can’t you see through that? Can you afford to be misled by men—and women—who in this very point are proved to be frauds?
Another sure proof of fraud by these claimants to divine revelations outside of and in addition to the Bible is this: each such claimant, without exception, will contradict the Bible in many statements. Try it for yourself and see if this doesn’t happen: talk to any one of their disciples (disciple of Christian Science, Mormonism, etc.) and soon they’ll be teaching something flatly contradicted by the Bible. Call their hand and they’ll say: “Oh, we have a later revelation than the Bible.” That shows why they make such claims. They want to teach doctrines not supported by the Bible, and the only way they can appeal to those who claim to believe in the Bible is to make the same claim for themselves, and then claim that God told them something after the Bible was written. It does seem that the most simple of people would see through that clever ruse.
For example, Mrs. Mary Eddy, in writing her book “Science and Health,” on page 110, lines 13-14, claimed that the Bible was her “only text-book,” Yet, she contradicts the Bible in all of her doctrines. An instance is page 42, line 5: “The universal belief in death is of no advantage.” But the Bible—her “only text-book”—says: “It is appointed unto men once to die.” (Heb. 9:27) Too, “for as in Adam all die” (l Cor. 15:21-22). This is a fair sample. Gal. 1: 8-9 brands as false teachers those who contradict what the Bible says.
Long before the arrival of the present crop of claimants to special revelations, the Bible recorded a Spirit guided apostle’s statement: “Seeing that His divine power hath granted unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that called us by His own glory and virtue” (2 Pet. 1:3). “All” does not mean “some,” and that statement proves that God granted—or revealed—nothing to anyone concerning godliness after the Bible revelation was complete. Thus it is to your interest to accept the Bible as the complete, sufficient, and final will of God revealed to man. In doing that you will automatically brand as false and reject as destructive heresy any claim that men have received special revelations of godly truth after the Bible was completed. Let it be the only book of authority on your religion.